The agreement with Faro city council will allow the loan of this oil painting by an unknown artist, which is part of Novo Banco’s art collection, as part of the 27 major works to go on permanent exhibition in 15 museums around the country, the bank said in a statement.

Faro thus follows Castelo Branco, Guarda, Guimarães, Setúbal, Caldas da Rainha, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Lisbon, Viseu, Torres Novas, Obidos, Madeira and the Azores, which have previously received works from the Novo Banco collection for permanent exhibition in local museums, the bank added.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony on Tuesday at the Faro Municipal Museum, in the presence of the local mayor, Rogério Bacalhau, and of the CEO of Novo Banco, António Ramalho.

‘The Tower of Babel’ is a canvas, painted in oil in Flanders at the end of the 17th century, depicting the construction of the Biblical tower, and which shows “the capacity of Flemish painters to, in a small space, illustrate a whole universe of narratives and details, thanks to a fine technique in the work of painting in oils,” the bank explained.

The valuable work is to go on display in a gallery in the Municipal Museum, together with other canvasses on religious themes, so enriching a collection that informs visitors about different artistic schools and styles, the municipality said.

The agreement forms part of a broader agreement between the Portuguese state and the bank that will see a total of 37 works loaned to 20 museums in 14 regions of the country.

The initiative forms part of the strategy of Novo Banco, which was recently acquired by US venture capital fund Lone Star, to develop partnerships with public and private entities such as museums and universities to showcase its cultural and artistic heritage.

Its collections include almost 100 paintings dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries, the Pina Martins Library of Humanistic Studies, which is in the custody of the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, the Numismatics Collection and the Photography Collection, which has been described by the bank’s CEO as “the jewel in the crown”.